When you plan to start your boutique, you should also ask yourself, “where do online boutiques get their clothes?”. Unless you plan to make your inventory, you will need to source your store inventory from wholesalers and other designers. Thrift stores, however, operate differently. Thrift store suppliers include online thrift store suppliers, community donations, swap meets, niche communities, estate sales, garage sales, etc. These types of suppliers are not the usual sources that ordinary boutiques turn to for their clothing needs. There are many places where boutique owners can purchase clothing. Read on to discover other ways or sources to stock your clothing store.
Table of contents
- Wholesale clothing websites
- Trade shows
- Collaborate with manufacturers
- Consignment store
- Offline wholesale clothing markets
Online wholesale products are a great way to get discounts or buy products in bulk. However, it is important to order from the right site. Contacting the wrong suppliers for your store could be detrimental to your business. Below are some of the most popular wholesale sites. This will save you time in your search and start saving money.
1. Bloom Wholesale
Bloom is an excellent wholesale website for buying clothes to start a boutique. Bloom caters to most boutique needs. It ships fast, offers plus sizes, scouts the Los Angeles area for cheap wholesale deals, and has low shipping costs ($9.95 for all shipments and orders). However, it’s worth noting that, according to customers, the inventory of discounted clothing is limited, and items sell out too quickly. That said, if you can get your hands on their great wholesale clothing deals, it’s worth it!
2. Fashion Go
FashionGo is the leading online wholesale marketplace with the largest selection of wholesalers and merchandise available. In addition to saving considerable time, FashionGo offers real-time trend reports, analysis tools, and convenient, low-cost shipping services for on-the-go boutique buyers. The site offers clothing of all kinds, fragrances, shoes, and women’s fashion.
3. LA Showroom
Like Fashion Go, LA Showroom is a wholesale market specializing in offering a variety of women’s, men’s, and children’s clothing, shoes, beauty products, and accessories.
Wishlist Apparel is a wholesale contemporary women’s apparel seller specializing in creating a twist on basic classics. Wishlist is part of the top wholesale clothing manufacturers because of its excellent quality and trendy styles.
5. Magnolia Fashion Wholesale
Magnolia Fashion is a wholesale clothing store supplier that only offers women’s clothing. This Miami-based wholesaler offers to ship to 80 countries.
A trade show is an exhibition where suppliers showcase their latest products – in the apparel retail sector, their latest lines and designs – to industry professionals and consumers. For entrepreneurs looking to open a store, it’s a perfect time to build strong relationships with suppliers and stock up on inventory. Some shows are open to the public, but many require you to be a company representative to attend. Some of the most popular wholesale clothing shows are listed below.
This show connects the best brands in women’s fashion, including apparel, accessories, and footwear, with buyers from around the world in New York and online. COTERIE also hosts an annual swimwear and loungewear show in Miami.
2. PROJECT New York
PROJECT New York is a trade show that offers a selective showcase of men’s and women’s clothing, footwear, and accessories brands. The event attracts an exclusive audience of key retailers, thought leaders, and influential voices to North America’s fashion capital.
MAGIC is a wholesale trade show specializing in the exhibition of trendy, young, and contemporary sportswear, apparel, footwear, and accessories. MAGIC brings together a global audience of retail buyers, from mass retailers to boutiques, as well as influencers, media, and industry thought leaders.
Agenda is one of the leading trade shows for skate, streetwear, and lifestyle connecting designers and retailers. It is held twice a year in Las Vegas, with over 1,000 brands represented.
5. Dallas Men’s Show
The Dallas Men’s Show is a boutique trade show offering a selective selection of the most in-demand traditional and contemporary lines of men’s clothing, accessories, and footwear. From button-down shirts and ties to t-shirts and sweaters, the Dallas Men’s Show has it all. If you’re looking to open a store with a men’s clothing niche, the Dallas Men’s Show is a place to visit for a fantastic deal.
6. Mississippi Magazine Wholesale Show
Held in Jackson, the Mississippi Market Wholesale Show features Mississippi companies designing, producing, and selling goods exclusively to accredited retail buyers throughout the Southeast. There is no charge to attend this event. The market is closed to the general public and opens only to accredited retail buyers.
Another way to source inventory for your boutique is to work directly with the manufacturers. It is possible to either buy pre-made products directly from them, cutting out the wholesaler middleman, or to order custom inventory for your online store.
The first advantage of not going through the intermediary of the wholesaler is to reduce the costs of acquiring inventory. In addition, working with a manufacturer to produce custom products will allow you to have a unique stock that no one else offers.
However, it should be noted that this option is not without its drawbacks. You will have to budget for design and sampling costs if you order custom products. In case you find products you like in other online stores, look for the manufacturer or brand name in the product description. Then research the brand and contact them directly to see if they offer wholesale pricing.
If you don’t have enough money to stock up on inventory, you can always fill your store through the consignment model. Consignment inventory is available at the retailer, also known as a consignee, but is still owned by the supplier or consignee. In other words, you will partner with designers, collectors, or manufacturers to have their items stocked in your store. You will sell these items at a slightly higher price and pay a portion of the sales profits to the consignor. Curious to learn more about how consignment inventory works? Check out our blog here.
Marketplaces allow you to meet the vendors directly, see the quality, touch and smell the products, and get inspired. Below are some major offline wholesale markets:
AmericasMart Atlanta – This marketplace touts itself as the world’s largest collection of wholesale gift, home decor, and apparel showrooms. It has both permanent showrooms and rotating specialty markets. Showrooms are rooms where the showroom owner brings together more than three brands to show you in one place. The showroom typically features similarly priced brands and focuses on the customer demographic.
Dallas Market Center – Another great market with permanent showrooms and rotating specialty markets. Aside from clothing and accessories, you can find housewares, gifts, jewelry, and children’s items.
In addition, some markets offer you the option of buying on the spot and taking the merchandise home the same day. If this option works for you, you can try it out. For example, Atlanta Apparel offers the Cash & Carry option. Atlanta Apparel showrooms offer both immediate cash & carry options and the ability to write bulk orders to meet buyers’ delivery needs.
Handling Your Boutique Inventory: How Will You Go About It?
Sourcing inventory is only half the work that needs to be done before opening a store. Once you have the clothes to sell, you need to keep track of the items so you don’t run out of them. The first thing to do to manage your boutique’s inventory better is to opt for a point of sale software tailored to your business. Your boutique or thrift store point of sale software will enable you to accept payments through your online or physical store and help you keep track of your inventory. You need to create a labeling system for your bins and items. Add SKUs to your point of sale software and add these labels to your inventory to make them easy to find. If you are looking for inventory management software for your store, click on the button below.
Where To Buy Clothes To Start a Boutique: Conclusion
There are several shopping places to buy apparel to open a boutique. These places include wholesale clothing websites, manufacturers, offline clothing vendors, trade shows, and independent designers. These channels can help you stock your store, whether online or brick-and-mortar.